by Sean Smith
Michael Jackson’s second posthumous album Xscape was released to much fan fare earlier this week. The lead single “Love Never Felt So Good” features Justin Timberlake and a video for the song was also recently released. Xscape features eight tracks that are new to the public and features guest spots by the likes of Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, and D’Angelo.
Also breaking this week, perhaps not surprisingly, was word of a new allegation of child abuse against Jackson which was reported by TMZ on Wednesday. The timing of this seems to be quite opportunistic in my eyes, but I’ll leave it up to you to read the story and come to your own conclusions on the matter. Although interestingly enough, one of the newly released songs on Xscape is rumored to be about the many allegations leveled against Jackson over the years and is called “Do You Know Where Your Children Are?”
Allegations aside, one of the reasons I enjoy listening to Michael Jackson’s discography over the years is because he often used music as a platform to try and effect positive change in the world. Some of my favorite Michael Jackson songs in this vein are “Earth Song,” “Heal The World,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “Black or White” just to name a few. The latter of which we are remembering today thanks to other prominent news breaking over the last few weeks.
If you have even remotely been paying attention to the news lately you probably have heard about the racist remarks made by the owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling. His appalling remarks have led him to be banned by the league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, who also wants Sterling to be forced to sell his ownership stake in the Clippers franchise. Donald Sterling’s remarks serve as a stark reminder that racism is sadly still rearing its ugly head in the year 2014. So with this instance of racism being in the news at the same time that Michael Jackson’s new album is garnering media attention, I thought it would be appropriate to remember one of Jackson’s songs that deals with that topic.
“Black or White” was the first single released off of Jackson’s eight studio album Dangerous in 1991. It reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached the top spot on the charts in 20 total countries around the world. The song of course deals with the issue of racial equality. The video for the song shows Jackson dancing with people of different ethnic groups around the world. It also notably features child actor Macaulay Culkin, of Home Alone fame and who was also close friends with Jackson.
And so with no further ado, this week we remember Michael Jackson’s 1991 hit “Black or White.” Enjoy!
“Black Or White”